Two Farewell Dishes to the Late-Summer/Early Autumn Vegetables
A few yellow summer squash are still dribbling in from my garden. The previous post’s “vegetables-as-afterthought” approach would have us serving them sauteed. Period. Too bad. Just a little extra effort could turn them into something so much more satisfying. Check out two ideas that employ the simple power of high-quality dried herbs and an herb blend to punch up ordinary vegetables:
Yellow Squash with Tomatoes, Peppers and Oregano
- Saute 1 medium green pepper (cut in 1/2″ squares) in good olive oil, over medium-high heat, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 2 medium-sized yellow summer squash cut in half moons and continue sauteing 4-5 more minutes, being sure to season with salt and pepper.
- Add 2-3 medium tomatoes, cut roughly into 1″ cubes and cook another 4-5 more minutes, until peppers and squash are cooked to taste and tomatoes are just beginning to soften and release their juices.
- “Crush and Sprinkle” 1-2 tsp. dried leaf oregano (the Greek version if you can find it) over the dish (as directed in previous article) and stir in. Cook another minute to allow flavors to meld, then taste and add more salt and pepper and even a pinch of sugar if dish tastes too acidic.
- Serve and enjoy the lovely combination of yellow, green and red.
Yellow Squash with Arugula, Bacon and Herbes de Provence
Besides spice blends, bacon is another lazy cook’s trick for adding instant flavor to dishes. Although it has earned a reputation as a nutritional bad boy, just one or two slices are enough to jazz up this dish. What’s more, no additional fat is needed to sauté the vegetables. Finally, since so little is needed, it can be affordable to use bacon from humanely-raised pigs made with nothing other than pork, spices and sugar (no nitrates or other chemicals needed for great flavor.) Note how the yellow summer squash in this dish is paired with cool weather arugula for a stunning color combination.
- Fry 2 slices of lean bacon, cut in 1/2″ pieces. When lightly crisp, remove to a plate.
- In the rendered fat, fry 2 medium-sized yellow summer squash cut in half moons, for about 4-5 minutes, being sure to season with salt and pepper.
- When squash are just beginning to brown, add 1 bunch arugula, stems removed and leaves cut roughly into 1-2″ pieces. Cook just long enough to wilt arugula.
- “Crush and Sprinkle” 1-2 tsp. Herbes de Provence over the dish (as directed in previous article) and stir in, along with cooked bacon. Cook another minute to allow flavors to meld. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
Option: Saute an onion diced to 1/2″ before the summer squash.
Want to know more about how to saute vegetables flavorfully, what it means to “wilt” arugula, how to make foods sing with spices and, most importantly, how to make meals healthfully but also deliciously and quickly? Join us for a Whole Kitchen cooking class: hands on cooking instruction + a whole lot more.